Weekly Reads: Myths about Romance in Pop Culture, Tide Pods, and Recess before Lunch?

Howdy Readers! It’s January 24th, 2018 and astoundingly Donald Fucking Trump is still President. I got nothing to fix that. Sorry. Keep Marching though…

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood and confirmed badass from a badass Mom had a message to White Women at this year’s Women’s March… Do Better, Black Women Can’t Keep Saving the Country

“All across the country, the Women’s March inspired doctors and teachers and mothers to become activists and organizers and, yes, candidates for office,” Richards said, CNN reports. “And from Virginia to Alabama and to last week in Wisconsin, women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office. … Women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women.”

Richards then added: “These victories were led and made possible by women of color.”

 At this point, Richards could have dropped the mic and walked off the stage to the chorus of “Loyalty.” However, Richards also challenged white women—some 53 percent of whom voted against their self-interest during the 2016 presidential election to help elect Donald Trump—to do better.

“So, white women, listen up. We’ve got to do better. … It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us. That’s on all of us,” said Richards, who also heads the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Meanwhile, at the (airquote) March for Life (unairquote,) where abortion opponents gather to share Handmaids Tale cosplay tips, President Covfefe made an interesting gaffe…

Since his inauguration a year ago, President Trump has been collecting typos and miscommunications like an Instagram celeb collects likes. There was the covfefe kerfuffle. And the time he said in an interview that he had sent bombs to Iraq when he actually meant Syria. Now added to the list is Trump’s speech at this week’s anti-abortion March for Life, during which he spoke about a terrible trend sweeping the nation — babies, after nine months in the womb, being born. The president explained in his speech on Friday, according to The Daily Beast, “Right now, a number of state laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.”

Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman is Ready to Burn it All Down

Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman delivered a 13-minute victim impact statement today in front of Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina and Larry Nassar himself, in which she excoriated not just Nassar for his sexual abuses against herself and nearly 150 other athletes, but also USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for what she sees as a systematic enabling of his crimes and an inadequate response to the devastating scandal on their doorstep.

Vox has an excellent explainer detailing the Larry Nassar/ US Gymnastics sex abuse scandal. If we believed in Hell there would be a special room for people like this, as well as their enablers.

And Julie DiCaro reports on how sports parents can protect their children from people like Nassar. 

Former Olympian Nancy Hogshead-Makar, now a civil rights lawyer and chief executive of the legal advocacy group Champion Women, says it’s crucial to begin talking to children about “good, ethical” coaches at an early age, with age-appropriate language. “Parents have to teach kids that they have bodily autonomy, to know what’s theirs, and to trust their inner gut. We don’t want parents telling their kids ‘Do whatever the coach says,’ ” she said. “Athletes have to be empowered to say no to coaches, doctors, and trainers at an early age, or we’re setting them up for failure. Athletes and coaches should not be in an authoritarian relationship.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is pregnant… the Internat reacted predictably. 

Senator Tammy Duckworth is pregnant… the Internet reacted predictably.

Patrick Green’s Transparent Expedition over at Patheos Nonreligious has an excellent series entitled Transparenting 101. I like lesson 7 You Have a Very Normal Child. They have obviously not met my children…

Pop Culture sells us some dangerous myths about romance.

Allegations of sexual harassment have been pouring out of the entertainment industry, among others, in recent months. But while predatory male behavior has been condoned and covered up behind the scenes, it’s also been glorified on screen and on the page and on the radio. As my colleague Lenika Cruz put it to me: “Rape culture, actually, is all around.” The narratives of a culture help to set its norms. Research has already found that romantic comedies can normalize stalking behavior. It’s not difficult, then, to imagine that toxic love stories can also normalize coercion. That they can make people—women, especially—question when and whether their boundaries have really been violated, when they should be flattered and when they should be afraid

A great Twitter thread about how male-dominated science wrestled with the obvious matriarchal nature of bees… for centuries 


A new study has found that kids are much more likely to chow down on those healthy lunchtime snacks you lovingly prepared if they get recess before lunch…

The researchers spent 14 days at each of seven elementary schools in Orem, Utah, where they stood by the trash receptacles at lunchtime and measured the number of servings of fruits and vegetables each student threw away (and noted whether the students had eaten at least one serving of either). For the study, three of the schools in the district had switched lunch to occur after recess, while the other four kept their lunch-then-recess schedule.

The study found a 54 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption by students at the schools where recess came before lunch time, and a 45 percent increase in the number of students eating at least one serving of fruit and vegetables a day. At the other schools, fruit and vegetable consumption actually declined over the same time period.

We lost some legends this month. A titan of Science Fiction, Ursula K LeGuin died yesterday, January 23rd, 2018, at the ripe old age of 88. Jon Scalzi’s tribute is beautiful…

She was a supporting column of the genre. … Losing her is like losing one of the great sequoias.

And Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries died from a sudden illness in her London Hotel room on January 15th. Lots of folks have a favorite Cranberries song. Here’s mine.

Featured Image Credit: The Schmoo, check out their instagram!

Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at www.flickr.com/photos/blotz/

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